Saturday, October 08, 2016

Thirty

Today is my birthday. Happy birthday to me. The first blog post about my own birthday was ten years ago. It's sometimes very hard to believe that I have had this blog over a decade now. My blog has seen so many of my birthdays since. I've described my birthday parties here, whenever I have had them, and my birthday presents too. A lot have happened during all these years. In a way I am still the same person, and in a way I am not.

I still don't feel like an adult, I'm not sure if I ever will. I consider that to be a good thing. I never really want to grow up. I am happy being this way, feeling young and utterly confused about everything. I've move forward, taken some steps bavkwards and then moved forwards again. That's life, as it is. I've ended relationships, said goodbye to fading friendships, found new love, found new friends, started new things and new chapters.

I am grateful that I have kept my blog all these years, even though I have some years missing here and there. I feel grateful that I have this chronology of my life. I can recall events that I have forgotten, remember feelings, be sad about certain things, be happy about others. This is a gift, truly, and a best birthday gift I could give myself. Sometimes blogging is hard for me. I feel it gets harder the older I get. I am less careless about the things I write, censor myself more. I'm worried about coworkers, future employees finding my blog and expecting me to be the same person I was ten years ago, or even five years ago. I do change, like all humans too. I wish I could let go of my constant fear of being discovered one way or another. I am writing under this pseudonym, but today's technology just makes it harder to hide.

But do I really have anything to hide? Other than my past. But is my past worse than my current moment. Or is my past worse than my future? I don't know. I am just afraid of people making assumptions based on the stupid childish things I've written ten years ago. It's hard to determine the fine line between the person I used to be and the person I am today.

Sometimes even I am consufed about the person I am today. Who am I in the first place? What is the essence of me? When I was younger, like in my teens, I thought that being thirty means being an adult. That by the age of thirty I would have it all figured out. I'd have the education, the career, the everything. Little did I know, indeed. Being thirty is no different than being twenty, at least in my book.

I do have the education now though. And I am actually trying to get back to school, to get a higher education. I don't really need it, but I am thinking why not. I can study while I'll work, I should be able to arrange it. I think getting another degree could give me a kick to some new direction. I am not sure if I need it or want it, but it's good to have some options open and explore new possibilities. It can't hurt. Now let's keep fingers crossed that I get accepted.

And the career. A career. I am not sure if I have a career, but I do have a job. And it's a job I enjoy throughly most of the time. I have responsibilities, projects, challenges, all that. I respect and appreciate my newest boss and I like my teammates. I even get to work together with my best friend. I wonder what else could I want, expect the three things I can't get: a transfer to another team, a bigger salary and a big ass promotion.

And my life. I think it's getting sorted out for once. For the first time I am on medication. Antidepressants and anti-anxiety. It's time to tackle this son of a bitch depression. I've suffered way too long and way too much. I am also waiting to get into psychotherapy. I am too old to fees ashamed for being such a mental case. Sometimes I feel that my blog is mostly a history of my depression too. Occasionally here and there it shines trhough even though I've never really directly addressed that. Sometimes I wonder why it took me so long. And sometimes, still, I wonder I need that at all. I can't decide. Sometimes I am fine, sometimes I am not. But when I am not fine, it damages things and it bothers me too much to just ignore it.

Love. There is a line in one song I like that goes "your last love is the best love". I don't necessarily agree with that statement. I loved my ex-husband and I still do. I cherish all the years we spent together and even the bitter end. I have no regrets, nothing. I still speak very highly of him and I get angry whenever someone tries to say something mean about him. None of this was his fault, he always tried his best. And I am not saying it was my fault either. It's just the way things went and I am OK with that. I've moved on. And while I don't agree with the "your last love is the best love", I feel that I have found something that simply works better for me. My relationship with my boyfriend is not better or worse, it's just profoundly very different; different personalities, different dynamics. I love my boyfriend very deeply and very passionately and I feel confident he brings me joy and happiness for many, many years to come.

I used to own an apartment. I've taken a step back and now rent one, along with my boyfriend and roommates. It doesn't bother my slightly. I feel my attitude towards owning things has moved to another direction. Material things mean very little to me, only care about the very obligatory things. I need clothes on my body, but I don't care them too much. The same goes for everything, really. What I need to own, I own. But I've lost my interest of owning fancy things or things that fall more into the luxury department. In a way I'd be interested to become more minimalist, but at the same time I feel too lazy to go through my things and downsize. I don't mind having the things I have now even though I don't need them all. I feel that the things I get now are more imporant. I don't want to clutter my life with stuff. Stuff doesn't correlate with happines, that's what I have learned.

I've lost friends, both best friends and acquaintances, during this past ten years. They come and go. I am generally just really bad at keeping touch. I know that using things like Facebook might help, but I am still against Facebook. It doesn't interest me one bit. I have no interest of keeping up with friends who I am no longer really friends with. I don't care about their babies or their fancy jobs. It would probably just make me feel bad about myself. Or maybe it would be make me feel guilty of being the one who faded away. I am always able to make new friends and I feel that the friends that I have made during the last few years are better than the ones I have ever had. Occasinally I feel this flutter of nostalgia, thinking about people I used to know and care about, but what I have learned that reconnecting with others is not as easy as it might sound. People  change, me included. It's better to keep things in the past and just have the nice memories of things that used to be.

Now I realize this post is turning to a megapost. It's not a bad thing. Actually this is the very thing that I wanted to do. I wanted to capture the current. What I am right now, how things are in my life in this very moment. So when I turn fourty, I can reread this and write a new one. I have no idea where my life leads me next. Maybe after another decade I live in another coutry, speak different language, have a completely different career and completely different social circles.  Who knows. I never expected to find myself here and yet here I am.

Friday, September 23, 2016

XYZ

I would love to blog more about my life in a commune, but I feel there is nothing interesting to tell. To me living in a commune is just living. The longer I live with the people I share the apartment with, the more ordinary and easy it becomes. It's like working with a team of people. You never take a moment at work to wonder how you ever end up working with those people, and especially you don't wonder why they work in the same place in the first place. Our living arrangement is the same to me. I no longer stop to think about these things as they have become so normal and ordinary to me. I never look at my roommates and wonder what they are doing in the same apartment with me. My boyfriend and my roommates feel more like an odd family, like people I expect to live with me. It's strange and completely normal at the same time.

Also, the longer I live with my boyfriend and my roommates the more I wonder why they are so many people who choose to live alone. In a way it makes sense to me, but most of the time it doesn't. I get the idea of freedom, the idea of doing whatever you want whenever you want. But more than freedom I enjoy the life around me, the living breathing human beings and the little noises and the little signs of things happening. Our apartment feels eery when I am home alone. It feels wrong, like its soul is missing and I can't get a rest. I'm not sure I could ever choose solitude. I like the feeling of not being alone. It gives me joy and comfort. I don't even need to see my roommates or my boyfriend, nor hear them, I just need to know they exist and it makes me happy.

I know I am strange girl and feeling strange things and living a strange life. But it suits me. It suits me just fine. And I feel that these are the best things that have ever happened to me. Life is full of surprises and I have come to realize that there are always more surprises around the corner, waiting for me. I can't really foretell where I end up. I just need to live it to see it.

Sunday, August 07, 2016

I am now the kind of girl who runs half marathons

I ran a half marathon yesterday. I felt that maybe I should blog something about it, since most people consider it a quite big deal. I, on the other hand, have really mixed feelings now when I have actually finished it. It was just so much easier than I expected. I expected it to be kind of a struggle but in the reality it was just a really long run. I wasn't considerably different than my regular 10km runs.

I signed up in February. I wanted to sign up as early as possible so I wouldn't chicken out, plus it was cheaper the earlier you signed up. It took me a long time before I even started my running season this year. I am not a winter runner. I needed to wait until the ice and snow are all gone. And then I stopped running. Until I started running again. Seriously, this has been the worst running season in my life. And by life I mean these past years I have been actually running and not just imagining it in my little head.

But on the other hand this has been the best running season in my life. I finally got a running partner who is not far better than me. Just a little better. Good enough to get me out and running, to get me motivated, to make me work just a little bit harder. It also feels good to share the love of running with another thing you love.

I had hesitated. I had not been running as much as I should have. I had not really trained at all. My runs have been sloppy and all over the place. But the runs that I had, the good runs, they were really good. I got the flow, the feeling that I could go on forever. Other days I felt so good about going and doing the half marathon, other days I felt that it could never happen. I felt both of these outcomes were exactly as likely to happen.

But eventually my boyfriend managed to push me on the more positive side. Sometimes he seemed to be even more into the idea of me running the half marathon than I was. I wanted to do it for him too. So all his support wouldn't go waste. If I had put one of those "I am doing this for" signs on my back, my sign would have had his name on it.

So I ran a half marathon. That's 21.1 kilometers.  The first 10 kilometers were quite easy. I've ran 10 kilometers more times than I can remember. The next five kilometers weren't exactly bad either. I was mostly running on my own, no other runners nearby. I couldn't tell how many runners were running behind me or in front of me. I only saw a couple other runners in my second 10 kilometer lap. It was quite easy to achieve some kind of a flow when you just ran and followed a single chalk line on the ground. I didn't need to think about anything. I mostly admired the landscape. The sky was a really nice when the sun started to set. The sea was fabulous too. It was a really nice route to run and since it was new to me, I didn't exactly get bored either.

The first time I experienced something I could call as a minor struggle was in the 17th kilometer. My feet didn't hurt. I still felt pretty good considering that I had already run 17 kilometers. I was just somehow getting bored of the motion, bored of running. But the urge to do anything besides running wasn't really strong enough to stop me from running. I just thought to myself "When was the last time I couldn't run four kilometers?". Never, that is the answer. I can always run four kilometers. So I ran the final four kilometers, all the way to the finish line.

And the view from the finish line was beautiful. I just sat there, on a little piece of grass, eating a banana - even though I don't like bananas - and thinking to myself that I had just finished a half marathon. That was the only time I wished there was someone with me. I enjoyed running solo because I was able to run my own comfortable pace at all time... but while I was sitting there I wished there was someone sitting there and sharing the feeling with me. The trembling sore legs, the slowly steadying breath, being so sweaty you don't even know where to start, the everything. But at least I was able to share the moment with the beautiful landscape, while hearing the list of names of the people who finished after me.


It was easy. And then again not. Mostly easy, but there were moments. I wanted it to be a struggle so it would feel like a real accomplishment. I don't know what to make of it. I don't know how to be proud of something that felt so easy to do. I feel like I should be proud of myself but I just can't. I just did something I was very able to do and achieved it with almost no effort at all. I didn't train, I barely even ran. I didn't have any special diet, any special plan. I guess I should have had a goal or something. To make it a struggle. To make it something impossible to reach. Maybe next year. Maybe next year I try to run every kilometer one minute faster. That way I should be able to drop 21 minutes from my time. That's a struggle.

Either way. No matter how I feel about it. I am now an official half marathoner. I got a little medal to show for, though it doesn't say anything on it. Just the name of the race. Nobody knows whether I participated in the 5 kilometer walk or the half marathon. At least my race bib shows the real distance.


Now I have another race coming up; my third Midnight Run Helsinki. My boyfriend is participating too, I just signed him up yesterday. It's kinda weird to think about sometimes. That I am the kind of person who signs up and participates in races. Who knew? After all I was the girl who used to hate all sports. So I guess in that sense the half marathon was quite an achievement. I was definitely not born to run. I've had to learn how to be a runner, how to run, and how to keep running. That is still the real struggle. How to keep running despite of everything.

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Vad i helvete?!

Be careful what you wish for, they say. Be careful. I remember this one blog post I wrote back in 2008, in which I semi-seriously pondered whether I should study Swedish, the other official language of Finland. I can't remember why I got the idea and why I thought it was a good idea, but I remember discarding that idea pretty much as quickly as I got it. I guess I assumed it would be too much work, to be too laborious.

But little did I know... that in 2015 I would actually pretty much fall in love with the Swedish language. Fall. In. Love. I am 100% serious. I fell in love with the language I used to hate for years. And it happened by an accident, because of a stupid joke that wasn't even funny in the first place. It's amazing how little things can change the way you view things.

It started with Duolingo.com, the language learning website. I had heard so much about it that I eventually just wanted to give it a try. I wanted to see what it was all about and whether it worked or not. I made an account and suddenly I was faced with a tough decision; what language should I try?And in case you don't know already, there is a surprisingly wide selection of languages to choose from! Hastily I decided to make a fun decision, something to entertain me at work. So I chose the language everybody hates, that I hated; Swedish.

I am highly motivated by magical invisible internet points. I love getting experience points and level-ups, they do wonders to me. So once I started "playing", I wanted to advance up in the skill tree, get more level-ups, get more experience points. I was hooked. And suddenly I forgot that Swedish was supposed to be oh-so-dreadful and oh-so-boring. That I was supposed to dislike it, even hate it. The more experience points I got, the more I was sucked in. Swedish started to make sense, kinda started to sound beautiful. It had it own flow, I liked it. I started to appreciate it. I relearned grammar and widened my vocabulary.

So yeah. I'd say Duolingo works. At least for re-learning languages.

It took me a little over month to finish the Swedish skill tree. I worked hard, one could say I was even a bit too addicted to Duolingo. But it was all for good! It wasn't just a stupid mobile game to waste some time on. I was actually, very seriously, learning something. And I wanted to keep learning even after I finished the skill tree. I started to read books in Swedish and ultimately I made a decision to read nothing but Swedish books this year.

Det handlar ocksÄ om mig

My progress with books is quite slow, but it is definitely still progress. I try my best to learn Swedish from other sources too. It's easy here in Finland, there is Swedish practically everywhere when you really start to look for it. I've learn countless new words for example from ads, street signs and instructions. Sometimes I feel impatient, like I should be working harder or learning faster, but then again I understand that it takes time and practice to become fluent, it doesn't happen overnight and it doesn't happen easily. After all it has taken me a decade to become fluent in English and I've only studied Swedish actively for a year. Couple new words every week is more than enough. I'll get there, eventually.

Besides, I am also in level 14 in Dutch.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Papu update

I mentioned in one of my previous posts that I only have one dog now, Papu. The current trend with dogs and divorces seems to be a joint custody, but I never wanted that and nether did J.R. Papu has always been more like my dog and Niila has always been more his dog. It was the most obvious choice for us to divide the dogs.

Some people were surprised that we decided to divide the dogs though. Apparently it's considered to be cruel to divide dogs who have grown up and lived together. I believe it depends on the dogs. I lived together for three months with my friend after J.R. and I broke up and Papu was the only dog in the household and she seemed to enjoy it tremendously. She was happier than ever before, much calmer and she seemed to enjoy human company more than usually too. I feel that I built a better relationship with Papu too when I was able to really concentrate on her. I even managed to teach her a new trick. I could not see any sign of suffering in Papu, she was just fine. Like Niila never existed in the first place. In a way it's a sad thought, that Papu is able to forget Niila just like that, in a blink of an eye, not being sad for even a day, but on the other hand Papu is a dog and who knows if dogs are really even able to miss something or remember anything. The only thing that matters to me is that she is happy.

My boyfriend also has a dog so now when we live together we have this blended family going on. Papu's new baby brother is called Tomu. I was a bit worried how it would turn out since Papu is pretty bad ass (as miniature pinschers often are) and Tomu is definitely on the softer side of the spectrum. But so far everything has been just great. I think Papu enjoys Tomu's company much more than she ever enjoyed Niila's. Niila was more like a constant nuisance but Tomu understands to keep his distance and have some respect towards Papu too.

Tomu looks mostly like a furry sofa-pillow or something. I can never remember his breed. I just tell people that he has a lot of hair and that he is small. I think I am a bad step-mama for not remembering, but I simply can't remember everything. I can't even remember Papu's birthday (more bad mama points)!

Tomu
Tomu looks quite smart in the picture and almost majestic, and like something that could actually survive alone in the nature. But it's all false. Tomu is most of the time the most retarded dog I know. Just retarded. But not in a bad way though, retarded like in a silly way. And he would definitely not survive in the nature alone. At least that is what I think. Anyway. I think our blended family is doing good. I try to be a good step-mama and Papu enjoys all the attention she gets from the new housemates. I think this has been the best possible outcome of the situation. There could have been problems, like lots of them, but we got lucky. Papu and Tomu get along and Papu accepts all the new housemates as her loyal servants and worshipers.